- Series: Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?
- Hardcover: 456 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (October 27, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780262026055
- ISBN-13: 978-0262026055
- ASIN: 0262026058
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,460,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?: Experiencing Aural Architecture
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"At last, a book that reveals that spaces are meaningful beyond their acoustics! I was captivated by this impressively well-documented book, and recommend it to anyone with an interest in acoustics or architecture."--Jean-Dominique Polack, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris
" Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? is book that would round out the collection of musician, engineer, architect, musical historian, or philosopher." Colin Novak International Journal of Acoustics and Vibration
"The 'final frontier' of computer music is undoubtedly microsound--the quantum level of acoustics--and Curtis Roads boldly leads us into this new domain, which will become increasingly important in the 21st century. In providing the history, theory, and compositional practice of the micro scale of sound design, Roads clearly lays out the roadmap to this exciting and challenging area of digital research. The book is destined to become the standard reference in the field for years to come."--Barry Truax, Professor and Composer, Simon Fraser UniversityPlease note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote.
Outstanding Academic Title, 2007. Choice
"Kristen Haring has constructed an engaging account of ham radio culture in mid-twentieth-century America. In so doing, she illuminates how people assign meaning to--and identify with--technologies of all kinds, thus her book will be of value to all students of technological culture."--Emily Thompson, Professor of History, Princeton University, and author of *The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933*
About the Author
As a former Professor at MIT and a founder of digital audio, Barry Blesser has spent the last 40 years working at the junction of audio, acoustics, perception, and cognitive psychology.
Linda-Ruth Salter, Ph.D., is an independent scholar who has spent the last 25 years focusing on the interdisciplinary relationship of art, space, culture, and technology.
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Top customer reviews
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Barry Blesser defines a "New Science" in this book, which mirrors his leading-edge career. This is a shining example of Nexialism (the Science of Everything) because it integrates conventional divisions of science and painstakingly assembled factoids into a raft of fresh multi-disciplinary theses. It represents a decades-long study utilizing creative insights, and flows with well written, compelling examples without sacrificing rigor.
I met Barry at the 1978 Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, where he was demonstrating the first professional digital reverberation generator. This mathematical room simulator was the starting point for elucidating how our ears provide us with more and better information about our environment than our eyes.
Aural acuity and aurally generated mental maps have been largely lost in our visual culture, starting with Guttenberg's enabling of widespread education through reading alone and continuing to television and Internet where LCD monitors have replaced most direct human contact. This has been exacerbated by the Industrial Age which has filled the aural environment with the noise of motors, controlled explosions and collisions. Further insult and injury to our hearing sense comes from audio production by alarms and annuciators and sound reproduction by increasingly cheaper transducers. Modern architecture has produced terrible acoustic environments, some masquerading as suitable concert and conference venues as well as residence and office.
"Spaces Speak" is a clarion call to re-gain this lost ground. It describes how detailed and precise hearing can be, and how to achieve a synthetic aural environment as healthy as the natural world for which our sense evolved.
Thank you, Mr. Blesser, and BRAVO!
I commend this book to all my colleagues in the AES, CAS, ASA and AIA.
By a long shaggy-dog story, he was also responsible for the coming-into-existence of Lexicon Inc., where I worked for several years in late 70s and 1980s). That led to the development (by Dr. David Griesinger and Lexicon's team of hardware engineers) and perfection (through Dr. Griesinger's insatiable thirst for the perfect reverb algorithm) of the Lexicon 224 and (later) 480L which dominated professional digital reverberation in the 80s, 90s, and beyond. In those years, I had the honor to work directly with Dr. Griesinger (a true genius) and to witness the birth of classic hardware and software for sound artists. Dr. Blesser I knew more distantly, but have the highest regard for.
I am just now beginning, but avidly anticipate the enjoyment of, reading Dr. Blesser's ground-breaking work on the subject of human perception of acoustic spaces. I'll report again when I finish. Thank you, Barry Blesser!
As to knowledge…there is the pervasive sense of Blesser being very knowledgeable on the far ranging subjects that tie in with aural architecture. He continually tries to impress upon us that there are very few people in the world both as broadly and as deeply in the know (I actually believe him). Some of his knowledge ties in well with the general narrative and some of it he leaves dangling (the evolutionary tie-ins fail in part because it's a field in which the prevailing wisdom changes weekly). Better writing would have better transmitted his knowledge.
For now there is little or nothing else out there trying to tie it all together as Blesser does. It's a fascinating topic. With some effort I finished the book and do not in any way regret the time it took. If you have to read it, and I don't mean for a class, by all means. He spares us years of research that we would otherwise need to pull all the pieces together.